‘Until now, hair & beauty contestants did not look like me’

We talk self love and loc love with Ms Natural Hair UK winner, Bashiyra

What does winning the competition mean for you? It’s an opportunity for me as Ms Natural Hair UK to showcase why natural Afro Caribbean/ African hair is very much a leader in the choice of hairstyling today with regards to women of colour all over the world.

Do you think competitions like this are a good idea? With the focus in this instance being on cultural and self-identity elevation through natural hair, then yes, why not? Historically, for so many women of colour a competition like Ms Natural Hair UK was simply invisible until now. Hair or beauty contestants or queens did not even look like me, with dark chocolate brown skin and beautiful natural hair without chemicals and extensions, so yes competitions and pageants of this nature I feel especially in the current climate, are vitally important.

Loc inspiration – singer Ledisi

What do think of the natural hair movement? I love it and I love being an making contribution too it. My experience of the natural hair movement is it’s self- accentuating, regal and harmonic. I glow when I see women and men rocking their natural hair uninhibited and gracious.

How long have you been growing your locs? I’ve worn my hair natural for over 15 years and have had locs for 11 years. It’s the best ever natural hair choice I made. A good friend started my hair with sisterlocs, which worked brilliantly for a few months, however I started to visualise my locs much thicker. I was fortunate enough to then locate a great male loctian called Olanre, who looked after my locs.

Who styles them for you now?
Love Blessing (Brixton, South London) and Locs4Life (Palmers Green, North London). Two amazing natural hair specialists of whom my locs, just love! Locs4Life is always booked up months in advance which is a testament to how good they are. With Love Blessing they always find time nuture my locs whether it’s 1pm or 1am.

Do you think locs are under- represented in the natural hair movement?
Not anymore, I see that the versatility and manageability of locs has become more widely known and accepted within the natural hair movement. People know they have a much more varied choice when it comes to the loc techniques and hair care products. When Ledisi made her mark as an international singer, I jumped for joy as I really saw my own image of loccing, and perhaps more importantly, locs receiving positive mainstream attention and loved for their uniqueness and crowning beauty.

The Ms Natural Hair Pageant is intended to generate positive dialogued and images for both young and mature people in the UK

For more information visit www.consciousvibes.co.uk

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